Planetarium instructional efficacy: A research synthesis

Brazell, Bruce D. (2009) Planetarium instructional efficacy: A research synthesis. Doctoral thesis, Texas A & M University.


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The purpose of the current study was to explore the instructional effectiveness of the planetarium in astronomy education using meta-analysis. A review of the literature revealed 46 studies related to planetarium efficacy. However, only 19 of the studies satisfied selection criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Selected studies were then subjected to coding procedures, which extracted information such as subject characteristics, experimental design, and outcome measures. From these data, 24 effect sizes were calculated in the area of student achievement and five effect sizes were determined in the area of student attitudes using reported statistical information. Mean effect sizes were calculated for both the achievement and the attitude distributions. Additionally, each effect size distribution was subjected to homogeneity analysis. The attitude distribution was found to be homogeneous with a mean effect size of -0.09, which was not significant, p = .2535. The achievement distribution was found to be heterogeneous with a statistically significant mean effect size of +0.28, p < .05. Since the achievement distribution was heterogeneous, the analog to the ANOVA procedure was employed to explore variability in this distribution in terms of the coded variables. The analog to the ANOVA procedure revealed that the variability introduced by the coded variables did not fully explain the variability in the achievement distribution beyond subject-level sampling error under a fixed effects model. Therefore, a random effects model analysis was performed which resulted in a mean effect size of +0.18, which was not significant, p = .2363. However, a large random effect variance component was determined indicating that the differences between studies were systematic and yet to be revealed. The findings of this meta-analysis showed that the planetarium has been an effective instructional tool in astronomy education in terms of student achievement. However, the meta-analysis revealed that the planetarium has not been a very effective tool for improving student attitudes towards astronomy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2017 13:17
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2018 09:11

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